Looking to add value with stone that is laying around your property?
Living in Western Victoria has many perks. One of the biggest perks is the ample supply of Victorian Olivine Basalt, commonly known as Victorian Bluestone.
Whether it is an entrance to a golf course, estate property or even a suburban residence, dry pack retaining walls and fences are everywhere throughout Regional Victoria.
Dry pack is one of the original methods of construction. Mortarless building methods have been around for thousands of years. Places like Machu Picchu, and even Pyramid structures in Egypt utilised the mortarless method.
This property owner in Western Victoria benefited by using local stone which was extremely cost effective to collect for the construction of this style of landscape feature.
Fences are also another common structure which utilises the drypack stone walling method.
This front entrance featured a large basalt (bluestone) boulder which was carved into shape. A plaque, or nameplate, featuring the name of the property was carved as a feature as shown above and below.
At the entrance to the house, a dry pack bluestone retaining wall was constructed to retain a garden bed and to create a grade separation which helps to utilise the land more effectively.
As a means of efficiency when building a Georgian Colonial cottage like the one pictured above, the original mason would have used off-cuts and remaining units which didn’t make the cut for inclusion in the dressed building front facade.
This ensured a quicker turnaround in construction by focusing on the architectural ‘viewpoint priority’.
That being said, you can also use traditional ribbon point to convert a random rubble stone wall into ‘square dressed’ ashlar. Not only does this method correct any cracking but it also cleans up the appearance of the wall to correlate with the dressed Georgian front facade.
You may also notice the removal of the render in the jambs of the window and door.
Render removal is a delicate process and is one done without machining. If you were to take a grinder to the render in order to remove instead of using a chisel or small bolster, you’d run the risk of removing, also, the tooling left on the jamb by the building mason.
Removal of the render on this window jamb exposes a secret! The original tooling from construction over 150 years ago!
Same window with render removed.
After discovering the tooling, the chisel direction in removing the render correlated with the chisel direction of the tooling underneath. This further protected the detail.